Sweeping changes to the IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards are
being planned in the wake of criticisms that they are out of date and
need to be relaunched.
Institute of Practioners in Advertising member agencies, clients,
academics and other industry bodies are being asked for their views on
how the awards can be made fresh and more relevant.
Marilyn Baxter, the chairman of the IPA’s advertising effectiveness
committee, promised: ’We will be making some radical changes.’
The changes will be based on the results of questionnaires sent to
agency chairmen and clients, as well as on a large number of informal
interviews with academics and planning directors.
The review comes as the IPA fends off charges that the awards may need
to be relaunched to prevent them becoming outdated.
Among the questions to be considered by the IPA are whether the awards
should be held annually instead of every two years, whether the
categories should be changed and whether the awards should continue to
be confined to ad effectiveness.
The issue was highlighted in a recent speech by Winston Fletcher, the
former IPA president (Campaign, 21 March), who claimed the changes were
necessary because the awards had become a throwback to a time when many
sceptics still believed advertising was a waste of money. Today, nobody
with any sense believed advertising did not work, he said.
Fletcher’s speech provoked swift denials of complacency about the awards
from the IPA and assurances that plans to update the awards were already
An interim report will be put before the IPA’s council in June. If
approved, a final set of recommendations will be drawn up before the end
of the year when entries for the 1998 awards are prepared.
’I wouldn’t want to anticipate the changes,’ Baxter added. ’We’ll
obviously have to make judgments because some points of view we get will